Tag Archives: business

Why Blog for Business?

I’ve been doing internet consulting for many years, about a dozen at this point, and while I am an early adopter on some things (getting a website, learning SEO) I’m a little slow on some of the other things (social media, blogging). However, in the last couple of months I have learned a thing or two about blogging that I would like to share.

I’m going to let you in on some “behind the scenes” and show you my Google analytics stats for the month of May 2013 compared to May 2012.

Ask Joanne AnalyticsI began blogging regularly in April 2013 and have written about a post a week since then (sometimes more but not less). My site traffic has increased by 143% year over year, Unique Visitors are up 120%, Pageviews are up 448% and Pages per Visit are up 126%. Most remarkable to me is that my bounce rate (which used to be dismal) has improved by 95% (there is a reason why my bounce rate used to be so high, more on that later).

All from writing a blog post a week!

Now, I don’t claim to be an expert at blogging by any stretch of the imagination, but this is what I think has worked for me.

I’m a naturally curious person and when I have a question about something or learn something new, I like to share it. In fact, I’m very like a “Malcolm Gladwell Maven” in that sometimes I can be “pathologically helpful.” My current most popular blog post is one I wrote on a whim when I found a cool Visual XML Sitemap generator for my colleague Beverly Sastri.

I try not to be too “sales-y” and directly promote my business or services too often. Blogs are not really about selling, but more about providing relevant information. That relevant information can be tips and tricks that are helpful to your audience, it can also be information about who you are … people like to know and trust who they are working with and a little bit of a personal spin on blog posts is not a bad thing. It’s also great to keep the blog open to comments so that you can engage your readers in conversation.

Sometimes my blog posts are just a quick recap of someone else’s content that I have “curated.” I include quotes and links in my posts from the original articles. Sometimes I write a summary of an article, or my opinion on the points being made. Sometimes I include an embedded graphic or video (my own or someone else’s).

And then, the step that I think could help any blog…. is telling people about what you’ve written. I use HootSuite to manage my social media channels. When I write what I think is a good blog post, I will send the link out to the appropriate social media channels, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

Has all this blogging resulted in more business? Well, not yet. But, remember:

The Rule of 7 Touches There is an understanding that it takes 7 touches for the customer to buy from you. Touch them with a telephone call – #1. Touch them with a direct mail piece – #2. Touch them with an article written about you and your company – #3. Touch them with a reference given by one of their friends about you and your products/services – #4. Yada, yada, yada.

read more at: http://www.kordellnorton.com/The_Numbers_Rules_for_Prospecting.htm

Maybe my attitude is a little too laid back, but I just LIKE blogging, providing relevant information and being a little “pathologically helpful.” If I get more business from it, great! If not yet, blogging is satisfying in it’s own right.

Google’s Guide to Google+ For Business

http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/business/get-started.html#feat-2

Stumbled upon this downloadable guide while working on my presentation for Newtown Savings Bank’s Business Before Hours on November 29th.

Will post my thoughts on it shortly…

Later….. It’s a good read w/basic info on getting your Google+ business page setup. It doesn’t address some of the current issues for former Google Places users (can’t merge old listing w new Google+ page format, you lose all your previous Google Places reviews, etc.), but overall a good guide to getting started.

What is Yext for Local Marketing?

You’ve seen me post again and again about getting your business listed correctly in local business directories. It can be a time consuming process and keeping track of all the sites, logins, etc. not to mention watching out for reviews of your business can start to feel like a full time job!

While I was preparing a package to offer to clients to do just this, I discovered Yext. It’s a way to get a lot of that work done “auto-magically” and aggregate information about (almost) ALL your local listings (and reviews) into one place.

Benefits:

The main benefits I see for signing up with Yext is the time-savings of entering all those local listings manually, particularly if you change/update your description, photos, videos frequently. OR if you want to take advantage of some of the new services they are offering like Service and Product listings, Staff Bio’s, Calendars and even Menus. Yext is also a great service for watching and keeping track of reviews that are being posted online

Downsides:

Signing up for an annual service can always be a bit intimidating, and if your scan shows most of your business listings are correct, you don’t really watch your reviews, and you don’t have calendar/menu updates. It probably makes sense to do the updates manually and not go for the service.

Plusses:

One nice benefit of fully updated “stand out” local listings is that they can have the benefit of sending traffic and links back to your site.

Signup is easy, you can even get a quick report of where your business is already listed (correctly or incorrectly). You get a single dashboard to manage all your local listings and even a reports page to show the clicks your site has received through various local channels.

The only downside I can see so far is that they are not (yet?) integrated with Google+Local (or Bing Local)… those you’ll still have to setup separately, but for all the other big local directories Yext can handle them all.

Full Disclosure: I use Yext for my local business listings, and I am a Yext affiliate.